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Foundation Apprenticeships at Lews Castle College UHI

Introduction to Foundation Apprenticeships
Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are work-based learning qualifications for secondary school pupils. They were introduced in Scotland in 2014 - 15 and are levelled at SCQF 6, being equivalent to Highers.

How do they work?
Foundation Apprenticeships enable pupils in S5 to S6 to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship while still at school. Depending on the subject they choose, pupils will study towards a Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other subjects. The FAs will be taught through blended learning. Pupils will spend part of the school week being taught by college staff, or with a local employer. The majority of the work placement being on S6. As well as working towards industry-recognised qualifications, pupils will develop skills, gain experience and develop capability through school, college and work environments.

Why choose this qualification?
Foundation Apprenticeships are designed to provide earlier exposure to the world of work, equipping young people with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to go on to further or higher education, accelerated entry into a Modern Apprenticeship or employment. Linked to the key growth sectors of the Scottish economy, young people will be able to get industry experience to kick-start a successful career in their chosen field.

For more information, speak to your school guidance teacher, contact the College or view the SDS website.

Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF):

National Progression Awards

SCQF Levels: Qualification.

Levels 1 - 4: National Awards Levels 1 - 4.

Level 5: National 5 & SVQ 2.

Level 6: Highers & Foundation Apprentiships.

Levels 7 - 12: Advanced Higher, HNC, HND, Degree, Honours Degree, Masters & Doctorate.   

You can choose from the following Foundation Apprenticeships:

  • Business Skills
  • Creative and Digital Media
  • Engineering
  • Software Development
  • Social Services - Children and Young People
  • Social Services and Healthcare
Foundation Apprenticeship Recognition for University Admission

SDS (Skills Development Scotland) has successfully negotiated with a number of universities across Scotland to recognise the FA as part of their entry criteria at the same level as Scottish Highers.

SDS is continuing to work with individual universities on admissions across faculties for specified FAs to provide pupils, parents, teaching and careers staff with as much information as possible.

The Scottish universities currently recognising Foundation Apprenticeships as part of their entrance criteria include:

There is variation amongst universities around the equivalence to Highers that reflects individual institutions and the programs they offer so it is advisable to check with the individual universities on their entry requirements. It should also be noted that whilst most universities accept Foundation Apprenticeships as equivalent to one Higher there are some such as the University of Highlands and Islands that recognise it as equivalent to two Highers

Additionally, it should be noted that where specified subjects are required for entry to a degree programme (for example Maths and Physics for entry to Engineering), the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering will not replace that requirement but will count as one of the additional subjects making up the total complement of qualifications (and in the case quoted for Engineering, an Engineering Foundation Apprenticeship would positively enhance that application). There are a few exceptions noted by institutions (e.g. the FA will not be accepted at the University of Glasgow or Edinburgh for Law, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at this point, but will be reviewed).

It is recommended prior to any application being made to check with individual institutions regarding their entry requirements.

For more information contact:
Sheila MacLennan
Assistant Principal
Lews Castle College UHI
Isle of Lewis

Telephone: 01851 770403.